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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Hackers can alter WhatsApp chats:


Hackers can alter WhatsApp chats: 

Should UAE users be alarmed? Dubai: WhatsApp users have been warned against a newly discovered flaw in the messaging service that can allow fraudsters to intercept and manipulate chats. The Facebook-owned app, which currently has more than 1.5 billion users and is widely popular in UAE, has already been the target of a number of fraud attempts, from free airline tickets to retail vouchers.
Just last week, major hypermarket retailer LuLu warned users of a voucher scam being circulated through WhatsApp and tricking people into sharing their private details, including bank account and credit card information. But new research has found that fraudsters can’t just forward, share or spread fake news, they can now intercept and alter messages for malicious purposes. According to cybersecurity company Check Point that tested the vulnerability of WhatsApp algorithms, it may be possible for hackers to infiltrate private and group conversations and do any of the following that can fuel more scams, fake news and even turn friends against each other: 1. Change a reply from someone to put words into their mouth that they did not say. For example, the message with the content “Great” sent by a member of a group could be changed to something else like: “I’m going to die in a hospital right now.”

2. Quote a message in a reply to a group conversation to make it appear as if it came from a person who is not even part of the group.
3. Send a message to a member of a group that pretends to be a group message but is in fact only sent to this member. However, the member’s response will be sent to the entire group. The newly discovered “vulnerabilities,” can put con artists “in a position of immense power” to not only crack into people’s messages, but also spread misinformation or fake news, according to Check Point. Other IT security experts, however, clarified that Check Point’s findings were mainly based on the cybersecurity company’s study and that no actual hacking cases have been reported so far. Also, not every single WhatsApp user may be prone to attacks, as the mentioned flaw seems to be focused around group chats and users of WhatsApp web. “It is not the end-to-end encryption that is broken, but a specific flaw around how group chats are used, which combined with social engineering, the art of tricking a user to do something unintentional, can be damaging,” Nicolai Solling, chief technology officer at Help AG, told Gulf News. “The research itself relies on certain attack methods to obtain the keys, specifically around the use of WhatsApp web. In general WhatsApp web is meant as an extension to your WhatsApp mobile app, and WhatsApp web should only be used on devices you trust,” he added.
How to keep chats protected To protect themselves against hacking attempts, users should try to limit the use of WhatsApp web. “Only access this from a computer you trust,” said Solling. “All communication can never be completely be trusted. History has told us that all encryption can be broken or at least bypassed. Therefore, always stay sceptical and alert.”
Here are more examples of what hackers can do:

Picked : https://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/technology/hackers-can-alter-whatsapp-chats-should-uae-users-be-alarmed-1.2264844

Friday, July 13, 2018

As Trump says Putin ‘not my enemy’, skeptics in US see danger


As Trump says Putin ‘not my enemy’, skeptics in US see danger 
WASHINGTON: In preparing for his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump has provoked a rare agreement among Democrats and Republicans alarmed by the possibility of a cozy meeting. While Republican Trump has gone softer on Putin, calling him a “competitor” and “not my enemy” on Thursday, lawmakers from both parties hardened their warnings to Trump before he sits down with the Russian leader in Helsinki on Monday.
“Putin is not America’s friend, nor merely a competitor. Putin is America’s enemy — not because we wish it so, but because he has chosen to be,” Republican Senator John McCain said. “It is up to President Trump to hold Putin accountable for his actions during the meeting in Helsinki,” McCain said in a statement. “Failure to do so would be a serious indictment of his stewardship of American leadership in the world.” Trump has touted the summit as an opportunity to reduce tensions, inflamed by Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, its military backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which turned the tide of the Syrian civil war in 2015, and accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. US lawmakers want Trump, both privately with Putin and publicly, to condemn Russia’s actions. Congress has taken a hard anti-Russia stance, nearly unanimously approving last year a tough sanctions law targeting Moscow. But lawmakers worry Trump will fail to take Putin to task, particularly over the election meddling, which the Russian leader has denied.
US intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow interfered and Trump has said he would discuss it, although he has stated both a willingness to believe Putin’s denials and US agencies. Trump has described a special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russia as a political witch hunt. “Our goal must be to demonstrate to the world that the community of democratic nations does not intend to accede to Putin’s or any other authoritarian’s view of the world. We will resist Russia’s aggression,” Democratic Senator Mark Warner and Republican Senator Marco Rubio said in an op-ed in USA Today on Thursday. Senior Trump administration officials also have voiced fears about what he might give Putin to the detriment of allies in Europe, especially after seeing how Trump appeared to get only vague commitments from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their June 12 summit in Singapore to discuss denuclearization. Trump declared that he had ended the nuclear threat from North Korea, but one senior US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: “Who’s to say he won’t come out of Helsinki saying he and Putin agreed that Russia no longer poses a threat to the rest of Europe?” ‘Easiest’ part of Trump trip Worries over Trump’s commitment to European allies and his deference to Russia loomed large at the NATO summit that wrapped up on Thursday. Trump claimed a personal victory after telling European allies to increase their defense spending or lose Washington’s support. He particularly railed against Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Trump took another swipe at US allies when he told reporters in Brussels that he thought his meeting with Putin would be “the easiest” part of his week-long European trip. US Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, criticized Trump for saying that. “The Russian president is a man schooled in treachery and espionage. He jails and murders his opponents, presides over a mafia state and he is an enemy of democracy. Why would a meeting with Putin be easier than a meeting with the allies that we rely on most to be a bulwark against him?” Flake asked in a Senate speech. Putin won re-election for six more years in March with opposition leader Alexei Navalny barred from running on what he says was a false pretext. Europeans and some US officials are particularly concerned about whether Putin will ask Trump to suspend NATO military drills in the Baltic states on Russia’s doorstep. Another senior US official said that if Putin came away from the meeting with Trump thinking he had permission to act in the Baltics, Estonia might become the epicenter of what NATO has helped to prevent.
Trump’s assertion that Russia is a competitor and not an adversary is contrary to the judgments of US intelligence agencies and his chief diplomat, Mike Pompeo, who at his April confirmation hearing to be Secretary of State, said the United States needs “to push back in each place we confront them,” referring to the Russians. While Trump said on Thursday that he expects the Helsinki summit to be “just a loose meeting,” some at home are hoping it will be a “non-event” with nothing groundbreaking. “Based on just the way things are shaping up, I think a non-eventful Helsinki meeting might be best for our country,” Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations committee,
Picked : https://arynews.tv/en/as-trump-says-putin-not-my-enemy-skeptics-in-us-see-danger/

Monday, July 2, 2018

Brazil leave Mexico contemplating familiar failure


Brazil leave Mexico contemplating familiar failure

SAMARA: Brazil’s Neymar (L) taps in to score against Mexico during the round-of-16 match at the Samara Arena on Monday.—AFP MEXICO had hope, some genuine hope, more than just cautious optimism that they could get a long-awaited first victory over Brazil at a World Cup, that they could for the first time since 1986 they would advance to the ‘quinto partido’ or the fifth match at world football’s showpiece tournament. In four matches before this, they had never beaten Brazil; in the last six World Cups, this last-16 stage had proven to be their undoing. In their last World Cup match against the five-time world champions, four years ago in Brazil, Mexico had held the hosts to a goalless draw. Riding on their 1-0 upset of Germany in their opening match at this World Cup, the Mexicans were confident that they could shock another of the favourites and go one better than last time when a superb Guillermo Ochoa had frustrated Neymar and company. In a breathless opening here at the Samara Arena on Monday, they had looked quite capable of doing that but then Neymar turned on the style and Brazil coasted past them 2-0, leaving the Mexicans to contemplate a familiar failure.
Brazil seemed rattled by Mexico’s pace early on but they settled down and picked the Mexicans apart in the second-half with Neymar scoring in the 51st minute, putting the finishing touches to a move started by him, before he set up substitute Roberto Firmino late on to put Mexico out of their misery. It was a performance that illustrated coach Tite’s influence on this Brazil team. Defensive solidity is paramount; Brazil know they have the players who can score aplenty at the other end. Just like they did with their superbly-worked opening goal. Neymar picked up the ball wide and then ran straight almost parallel to the goal, drawing away Mexico’s defenders with him. And then, in an instant, he opened up a Mexico defence that had been so excellent to that point with a clever backheel to Willian. Having drawn the defenders away, his movement opened up space for Willian who drove into the box and sent in a low cross that a sliding Neymar tucked away. Mexico never really recovered from that. They can play some spectacular football at times but their lack of ‘Plan B’ has seen them be at the end of some heavy defeats in the past. This could’ve been another of them if it hadn’t been for Ochoa who, just like four years ago, kept denying almost every Brazilian on the pitch. He saved from Phillippe Coutinho, from Paulinho, from Willian. With his saves, he would’ve hoped to inspire his team-mates on the other end of the pitch.
Instead, it was Brazil who kept coming back and he helplessly looked on as Brazil wrapped it up a minute from time through Firmino. Neymar got behind the Mexican defence and tried to find the far corner, only for Ochoa’s fingertips to put the ball into the path of an onrushing Firmino to tap it in. OUTRAGEOUS REACTION While it should’ve been Neymar’s goal and assist that should’ve been the talking point after the match, it was instead his antics that came into sharp focus: his outrageous reaction during the second half as Mexican Miguel Layun picked the ball from between his legs as he lay on the pitch. Television pictures showed a slight brush on his ankle but his reaction seemed like he’d been run over by a car. Moments later, with the referee finding no fault by Layun in the incident, Neymar was back on his feet and running perfectly. “Unfortunately we wasted a lot of time because of one of the players,” Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said at the post-match press conference. “I think it’s a shame for football. It’s a men’s sport and there shouldn’t be so much acting.” The rest of the press conference followed that theme. Asked by a reporter that the replay showed a slight touch by Layun, Osorio responded: “I respect your opinion.” Asked further, specifically about Neymar’s play-acting, Osorio said, “I didn’t mention him. It’s your interpretation. I’m entitled to give my opinion. I did not mention him.” Finally, he said: “There were incidents in the match where there was very little contact and every time the referee stopped the game.”
It was those stoppages that Osorio blamed for Mexico losing momentum. “The intensity decreases at some point and the referee has a lot to do with it,” said Osorio. “He allowed too many ‘fake’ faults.” Neymar was asked about Osorio’s comments but it was the moment Tite took charge. “The hierarchy stands,” Tite said. “The coach talks to the coach, the athlete to the athlete. I will answer that question. I saw what happened. You can analyse the video.” Neymar, meanwhile, said: “All this talk is an attempt to undermine me than anything else. I don’t care about the criticism because this can influence my attitude. There’s too many people talking anyways. I need to help my team, I have to play I have to play.” At the end of it all, Tite praised Osorio’s work and for making it an absorbing contest. “It was a great match considering the number of opportunities created,” he noted. “Osorio has done beautiful work and it’s why this was a beautiful match that excited me.” MESMERISING FOOTBALL Mexico were mesmerising in the opening 20 minutes, so good that Tite had a concerned look on his face. Brazil aren’t used to facing such opposition, opposition that comes at them so relentlessly as the Mexicans were coming. The game was only two minutes old and Mexicans had already blocked two Brazilian passes in midfield. Paulinho, who makes those surging runs through the centre, was forced to be in line with Casemiro, who sits ahead of the defence. Down the left, Carlos Vela was terrorising Fagner every time he got the ball. Going past the Brazilian full-back was never a problem for Vela. The only issue was with the final ball. Apart from Neymar’s shot which Guillermo Ochoa palmed away, it was all Mexico. They were creating all sorts of angles, they were making all sorts of runs with the ball and off it, trying to carve open Brazil. On top of that, such was their pressing that Neymar was forced to drop deep to try to create space for himself.
Osorio had spoken before the match about attacking the Brazilian full-backs and his team was doing exactly that and finding joy. On the other side of the pitch, it was Hirving Lozano who was isolating Filipe Luis and then running past him. There was one moment in which he left Luis for dead but, just like with Vela on the other end, the final ball was missing. Neymar’s first real chance came halfway through the first half, the gifted striker showing some nifty footwork to go past two defenders before seeing his effort saved by Ochoa. Instead of Neymar, it’s been Coutino who has been Brazil’s leading man at this World Cup but his passes were being cut, his shots at goal being blocked or sailing wide. As the half wore on, Mexico’s intensity deceased and the game opened up for Brazil. Gabriel Jesus finally got some service and saw two shots blocked. Osorio had vowed on Sunday that Mexico wouldn’t stop attacking Brazil but he was also vary of the goal-scoring threats posed by Brazil. Mexico hadn’t taken the lead by half-time but crucially hadn’t fallen behind either.
The plan was nearing perfect execution. But then Brazil scored just six minutes into the second half and Mexico didn’t have an answer. Picked : https://www.dawn.com/news/1417628/brazil-leave-mexico-contemplating-familiar-failure

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Illegal immigrant parents not facing US prosecution for now

Trump faced a global outcry this month over migrant children being separated from their parents. Parents who cross illegally from Mexico to the United States with their children will not face prosecution for the time being because the government is running short of space to house them, officials said on Monday. President Donald Trump's administration has vowed to prosecute all adults who cross the border illegally but its policy of separating immigrant children from parents met fierce international criticism so it is now trying to keep detained families together while the parents await trial.
That has created logistics problems of how to house those families, and the Customs and Border Protection agency is now not referring new cases for prosecution, CBP officials said. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the administration was not dropping its policy of "zero-tolerance" of illegal immigration but it needed a "temporary solution" until it can house migrant families. "This will only last a short amount of time, because we're going to run out of space, we're going to run out of resources in order to keep people together. And we're asking Congress to provide those resources and do their job," Sanders told reporters. A source at the CBP said it expects to soon resume the referrals for prosecution and is still sending for prosecution those adults who are caught crossing illegally and do not have children with them. Trump faced a global outcry this month, including sharp criticism from some inside his Republican Party, over migrant children being separated from their parents.
He formally ended the policy of separating families last Wednesday, but the administration has yet to reunite more than 2,000 children with their parents and it is not clear how it will house thousands of families while parents are prosecuted. The US military has been asked to prepare to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied child migrants on its bases. Although Republicans control both chambers in Congress, disagreements between moderates and conservatives in the party over immigration matters have hit prospects for a speedy legislative fix to the border crisis. Mark Meadows, leader of a conservative faction among Republicans in the House of Representatives, said on Monday he expected that an immigration bill being worked on by Republicans would fail. A group of Republican and Democratic senators huddled late on Monday to see whether they might be able to come together on legislation establishing a protocol for treating immigrant families as their pleas for asylum or other protections from deportation are considered.
But after the meeting, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said "Nothing's going to happen this week," on legislation in the Senate. With Congress out of session next week for the July 4 public holiday, that would mean the Senate could not debate a bill until at least the following week.
https://www.khaleejtimes.com/international/americas/illegal-immigrant-parents-not-facing-us-prosecution-for-now

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Samsung directed to pay Apple $533m for copying iPhone design


Samsung directed to pay Apple $533m for copying iPhone design 


 A federal court jury on Thursday ordered Samsung to pay Apple $533 million for copying iPhone design features in a patent case dating back seven years. Jurors tacked on an additional $5 million in damages for a pair of patented functions. The award appeared to be a bit of a victory for Apple, which had argued in court that design was essential to the iPhone. The case was keenly watched as a precedent for whether design is so important that it could actually be considered the “article of design” even in a product as complex as a smartphone. “We don’t think it is supported by the evidence,” Samsung attorney John Quinn told US District Court Judge Lucy Koh after the verdict was read in her courtroom in Silicon Valley.
“We have every concern about the determinations about the article of manufacture.” Quinn declined an offer by the judge to send jurors back for further deliberation, saying Samsung would pursue post-trial motions to address its concerns about the verdict. Juror Christine Calderon said the panel agreed that one of the design patents — the grid of colored icons — did represent the whole phone, while the other two at issue in the trial were seen as the display assembly that gave the iPhone its look. She compared it to the Mona Lisa: “You use the paint, but it is not the article of manufacture.” “I had to really think about it,” the 26-year-old Calderon, a technical writer, said after Koh dismissed the jury. “We kind of felt like we ended up at a happy medium.” Long legal road The case had been sent back to the district court following a Supreme Court decision to revisit an earlier $400 million damage award. Apple reasoned in court that design was so integral to the iPhone that it was the “article of manufacture” and worth all the money Samsung made by copying the features.
The lower figure sought by the South Korean consumer electronics titan would have involved treating the design features as components. The jury had been asked to determine whether design features at issue in the case are worth all profit made from Samsung smartphones that copied them — or whether those features are worth just a fraction because they are components. Apple argued in court that the iPhone was a “bet-the-company” project at Apple and that design is as much the “article of manufacture” as the device itself. The three design patents in the case apply to the shape of the iPhone’s black screen with rounded edges and a bezel, and the rows of colorful icons displayed. Samsung no longer sells the smartphone models at issue in the case. Two utility patents also involved apply to “bounce-back” and “tap-to-zoom” functions. An original trial finding that Samsung violated Apple patents preceded a lengthy appellate dueling over whether design features such as rounded edges are worth all the money made from a phone. Technology vs Style Samsung challenged the legal precedent that requires the forfeiture of all profits from a product, even if only a single design patent has been infringed. The US Supreme Court in 2016 overturned the penalty imposed on the South Korean consumer electronics giant. Justices ruled that Samsung should not be required to forfeit the entire profits from its smartphones for infringement on design components, sending the case back to a lower court. “Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages,” the South Korean company said in response to an AFP inquiry. “We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
The key question of the value of design patents rallied Samsung supporters in the tech sector, and Apple backers in the creative and design communities. Samsung won the backing of major Silicon Valley and other IT sector giants, including Google, Facebook, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, claiming a strict ruling on design infringement could lead to a surge in litigation. Apple was supported by big names in fashion and manufacturing. Design professionals, researchers and academics, citing precedents like Coca-Cola’s iconic soda bottle. The case is one element of a $548 million penalty — knocked down from an original $1 billion jury award — Samsung was ordered to pay for copying iPhone patents. Picked : https://arynews.tv/en/samsung-directed-to-pay-apple-533m-for-copying-iphone-design/

Monday, May 21, 2018

Turkish court hands life terms to 104 over coup bid


Turkish court hands life terms to 104 over coup bid 


ANKARA: A Turkish court on Monday handed life sentences to 104 suspects over their involvement in the July 2016 attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state media reported. The former military personnel were given “aggravated life sentences” by a court in the western province of Izmir, state news agency Anadolu said, for “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”. Such jail sentences, which replaced the death penalty in Turkey, carry harsher conditions than normal life sentences. In total, 280 military staff are on trial over the failed coup bid. Among the suspects receiving life sentences were former air force chief of staff lieutenant general Hasan Huseyin Demiraslan and ex-Aegean army command chief of staff major general Memduh Hakbilen. The court gave 21 suspects a 20-year jail sentence for “assisting the assassination of the president” while 31 were given sentences between seven years and six months and 10 years and six months for being a member of an armed terror group, the agency added.
There was an alleged plot to kill Erdogan on the night of the coup while he was on holiday in the Aegean resort of Marmaris with his family. The president has said the plot left him 15 minutes from death. The attempted putsch claimed more than 240 lives, according to the Turkish presidency, not including 24 coup-plotters killed on the night. More than 2,000 people were injured. Ankara accuses US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen of ordering the failed putsch, accusations which he strongly denies. Turkish authorities say the movement Gulen runs is a terrorist organisation, but his group insists it promotes peace and moderate Islam. Following the attempted coup, more than 50,000 people have been arrested and 140,000 public workers have been sacked or suspended over alleged links to Gulen or Kurdish militants under the state of emergency imposed in July 2016. Turkey has come under heavy criticism from its Western allies and activists over the scale of the crackdown and repeated calls for the emergency to come to an end.More than 240 people, most of them unarmed civilians, were killed on the night of July 15, 2016, when a group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and warplanes in an attempt to attack parliament and overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan. Since the coup attempt, authorities have detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of civil servants as part of a sweeping crackdown, the UN human rights office said in March. Of that number, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail pending trial. The scale of the crackdown has alarmed rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies, who fear the country is sliding further into authoritarianism under Erdogan and accuse the president of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent.
The government, however, says the measures are necessary, given the extent of the security threats it faces. Picked from : https://www.dawn.com/news/1409194/turkish-court-hands-life-terms-to-104-over-coup-bid

Monday, May 14, 2018

Revealed: Half of Ireland's TDs are millionaires... and here's how much they're worth


Revealed: Half of Ireland's TDs are millionaires... and here's how much they're worth

A research project by the Sunday Independent has revealed the wealth of those whom we have elected to serve us • • ALMOST half of all TDs in Leinster House are worth more than €1m, according to the Sunday Independent's Political Rich List. The first-of-its-kind research project has estimated the combined potential wealth of all 158 TDs to be in excess of €216m. The analysis by this newspaper and financial expert Karl Deeter found that central to this wealth is the gold-plated public service pensions which TDs receive on retiring from politics. Comprehensive research by Mr Deeter shows how pensions accumulated by the country's most senior politicians would cost millions of euro to buy in the private sector. The Political Rich List also provides voters for the first-time with an estimated value of the non-political assets of TDs - whose decisions impact on the finances of every home in the country. The research project examined several publicly available sources of information to calculate estimated values for property, land and businesses owned by TDs.
The insight into the wealth of the people who govern the country estimated that controversial Independent TD Michael Lowry is the wealthiest politician in the Dail. Mr Lowry's State pension and personal assets are estimated to be worth a massive €6.4m. The second wealthiest TD is Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae, with an estimated value of €5.4m. Mr Healy-Rae is by far the biggest landlord in the Dail with 10 rental properties. However, Mr Healy-Rae told the Sunday Independent he is "up to my eyes in debt and trying to pay off mortgages every week". His brother Danny Healy-Rae's assets are valued at €1.6m, bringing their combined estimated family wealth to €7m. Minister for Education Richard Bruton, with a €4.9m estimated value, is the highest ranked member of Cabinet. Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey's son Sean Haughey is estimated to be worth €4.8m but this does not include his share in the €9m will recently left by his mother Maureen. Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny is fifth wealthiest TD with an estimated value of €4.7m. Fine Gael is by far the richest political party with all 50 TDs having a combined wealth of €80m. Fianna Fail's 44 TDs are worth almost €70m, while Sinn Fein's 23 members of the Dail are worth an estimated €12m. The research also established a significant gender divide among the country's national politicians when it comes to their personal wealth.
Of the 75 TDs estimated to be worth €1m, just 11 are female politicians. Former Tanaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald is the first female on the list in 18th place. She is worth €3m based on the value of her pension in private market. Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin is the richest party leader with an estimated value of just under €4m. Mr Howlin is closely followed by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin with a value of almost €3m. Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is worth €1.2m while Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald is valued at €791,035. The Sunday Independent established that seven TDs, including three junior ministers, are in receipt of EU-funded farming grants. The research also established significant differences in the Dail Register of Members' Interests which TDs are required to complete once a year. The comprehensive level of detail of assets provided by some TDs is in stark contrast to limited information provided by others. Tanaiste Simon Coveney owns three properties - two houses in Cork and an apartment in Dublin - but only declares a rental property he owns in Cork. Mr Coveney, a former Minister for Housing, does not have to declare his interest in the other properties as they are personally used by him. However, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny lists every property he owns in his declaration, including his family home and the Dublin apartment he stays in while in the capital on Dail business. There is also a contrast in the level of details provided by TDs who own farmland. Some TDs give the exact acreage for the land while others merely give the townland where their fields are based. In most cases, the vast amount of a TD's estimated wealth is based on value of their pension in the private market. The cost of paying political pensions is part of the more than €430bn in pension liabilities which this country has (CSO figures for 2015). Of that sum, €350bn is unfunded, which means we have not put aside any money in advance to pay for those pensions, of which political pensions are only a small portion. Instead it comes out of whatever taxes are collected in the year in question, hence the description 'unfunded liability'.
As part of the research, each TD was contacted and asked to verify the details they gave about their assets in the Dail Register of Members' Interests - a declaration of assets and interests which TDs are legally obliged to provide each year and which is published by the Oireachtas. The Rich List's political valuations are based on assets and do not include the annual €93,599 wage of TDs, the generous allowances, expenses or additional incomes they receive by sitting on committees. That income is subject to tax, PRSI, USC, pension levy and pension contributions. The List just focuses on termination payments (a €15,600 lump sum they can get when they stop being a TD), the one-off lump sum at retirement (a maximum of €140,399 tax free), the TD annual pension (a maximum of €46,800 a year) and the office holders' pensions, which we'll consider next. When a TD holds an 'office' (Taoiseach, Tanaiste, minister, minister of State or Ceann Comhairle) for two years, they qualify for a 20pc pension of the higher office salary earned at retirement. This goes up by 5pc every year to a maximum of 60pc of the office salary if they serve 10 years. Sunday Independent https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/revealed-half-of-irelands-tds-are-millionaires-and-heres-how-much-theyre-worth-36901002.html

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Save room for dessert – royal wedding cake slices to be sold


Save room for dessert – royal wedding cake slices to be sold 

LOS ANGELES: As Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle inches closer, public hunger for all things royal will get its dessert as decades-old slices of cake from British royal weddings – including those of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and Prince William and Kate Middleton – go up for auction. The five cake slices from royal weddings are expected to fetch hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars each next month as memorabilia at the sale in Las Vegas, Julien’s Auctions said. But for those looking to play royal taster, there is a word of caution. “They’re not edible,” Darren Julien, the Los Angeles-based auction house’s chief executive, said ahead of the June 23 sale.
A slice from Charles and Diana’s wedding, presented in a white box with “CD Buckingham Palace 29th July 1981” in silver printing and wrapped in a paper doily, is estimated to fetch $800-$1,200 (£590-£885), the auction house said. More than 600 guests have been invited to Harry and Meghan’s May 19 wedding, which will take place at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, with a further 200 being invited for the reception. The fruit cake made for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding comes in a tin presented to guests with an enclosure card saluting attendees that said: “With best wishes from TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in celebration of the wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.” It is pegged to sell for $600-$800. Julien’s sold a slice of William and Kate’s cake for $7,500 in 2014.
Other cake slices include Charles’ 2005 wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s 1986 nuptials, which each are estimated to fetch $600-$800. The piece of royal cake from Princess Anne’s 1973 marriage to her first husband, Captain Mark Philips, is expected to sell for $300-$500. Picked : https://arynews.tv/en/harry-meghan-markle-wedding-cake/

Monday, April 30, 2018

Microsoft confirms talks with UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to lift Skype ban.


Microsoft confirms talks with UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to lift Skype ban.


Other VoIP services may be opened up provided they comply with regulations, analyst says Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News Skype is part of Microsoft Office 365. Right now, only the chat feature, which is text-based, in Skype is available for businesses. Dubai: Microsoft has confirmed that it is in talks with Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE to lift the ban on Skype. “We have been working closely with the local authorities towards gaining a better understanding of the local requirements in an effort to get Skype unblocked. We are passionate about the benefits that Skype offers to our users around the world by facilitating communication and enabling collaboration,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Gulf News.
Gulf News reported in March that Skype could become a reality after Microsoft opened two data centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi early next year. Skype is part of Microsoft Office 365. Right now, only the chat feature, which is text-based, in Skype is available for businesses. Sukhdev Singh, executive director of market research and advisory firm Kantar TNS, told Gulf News that small- and medium-sized enterprises will benefit the most from the move. Big businesses have their own VPNs to access Skype video and voice calls in the UAE. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE has blocked all video and voice call services, including Google’s Duo, Apple’s FaceTime and WhatsApp’s video and voice calling feature. The TRA said in their earlier statement that access to such VoIP services is still a prerogative of the licensed providers who reserve the right to provide such services through their networks. And companies wishing to offer such services must coordinate with the licensed telecom providers in the UAE. “OTT [over the top] services such as VoIP [voice over internet protocol] calls has internationally become a norm. VoIP is one of the main fallouts of the reliable high-speed networks. In extreme cases, Reliance Jio of India moved completely away from the traditional model of ‘Voice plus Data’ to ‘Data only’ package. The model disrupted the industry norm, though their growth was shunted due to network reliability issues,” Singh said
An Arabic daily quoted Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director General of the TRA, saying that TRA is in talks with Microsoft and Apple. He emphasised the need to maintain a strong relationship with the tech companies as their investments in the UAE are increasing. Since FaceTime is banned in the UAE, Singh said that a large number of mobile retailers sell imported iPhones meant for other markets. “As a fallout, not only does it cost consumers more, it also disadvantages the legal players, Apple in this case. A step to allow FaceTime and Skype will also clean up this grey market trade,” he said. “If TRA decides to lift the ban on FaceTime and Skype, I guess the regulation may also be applicable to other VoIP services provided they comply with TRA regulations. Since these are not a real replacement for calling, users cannot simply rely on VoIP services completely,” he said.

Picked from : https://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/technology/microsoft-confirms-talks-with-uae-s-telecommunications-regulatory-authority-to-lift-skype-ban-1.2214335

Monday, April 23, 2018

It’s a boy: Kate, wife of UK’s Prince William, gives birth to third child


It’s a boy: Kate, wife of UK’s Prince William, gives birth to third child 


LONDON: Kate, the wife of Prince William, gave birth to a boy on Monday at a hospital in London, the third child for the British royal couple. Kensington Palace said the baby was born at 1001 GMT and weighs 8 lbs 7oz. William was present for the birth at St Mary’s Hospital in west London where their other two children, George and Charlotte, were also born, it added.
“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news,” Kensington Palace said. “Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.” The new prince is Queen Elizabeth’s sixth great-grandchild and fifth-in-line to the British throne behind siblings Prince George, 4, his two-year-old sister Princess Charlotte, their father William, and grandfather and heir Prince Charles. A 2013 change to the law means the boy will not supplant older sister Charlotte in the line of succession. “That would in fact be the first time that has ever happened,” royal historian Huge Vickers said. However, William’s younger brother Harry, who marries U.S. actress Meghan Markle next month, falls to sixth on the list.
Kensington Palace said the name of the new royal would be announced in due course. Bookmakers had made Albert, Arthur, Jack and Fred the favorite names for a boy. Picked : https://arynews.tv/en/kate-wife-prince-william-birth-third-child/

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

UAE, Bangladesh sign agreement on recruiting domestic workers


UAE, Bangladesh sign agreement on recruiting domestic workers
The two countries agreed to ensure the entry and employment of Bangladeshi domestic workers in the UAE and help protect their rights Abu Dhabi: The UAE and Bangladesh today (Wednesday) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on recruiting Bangladeshi domestic workers in the UAE. The agreement was signed in the presence of Nasser Bin Thani Juma Al Hameli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, by Saif Ahmad Al Suwaidi, undersecretary at the ministry, and Nomita Haldar NDC, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Expatriate Affairs. Al Hameli praised the cooperation between the governments of the two countries in various fields. "The signing of the MoU comes within the ministry’s keenness to open up different markets to families and employers in the country and to provide several options for the recruitment of domestic workers to meet their needs and achieve their aspirations," he said.
The two countries agreed to ensure the entry and employment of Bangladeshi domestic workers in the UAE and help protect their rights according to the laws and regulations in the UAE. A per the agreement, workers should have the required qualifications and must be physically and mentally fit to perform the job for which they are recruited. The agreement defines that Tadbeer centers are the only authorised centres to bring and recruit workers. Tadbeer will soon start providing their service to recruit workers in different sectors. According to the agreement, recruitment offices in the UAE will send a job offer to candidates in Bangladesh, including all the terms of employment. Both the countries agreed to cooperate to make a list of all the costs related to recruitment and employment of Bangladeshi workers, as well as spread awareness among them about hiring guidelines before and after their arrival to the UAE. Picked : http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/government/uae-bangladesh-sign-agreement-on-recruiting-domestic-workers-1.2207921

Monday, April 16, 2018

Expo 2020 Dubai unveils PepsiCo as premier partner


Expo 2020 Dubai unveils PepsiCo as premier partner
Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday announced PepsiCo will be the 10th of its 12 premier partners. Under the agreement, PepsiCo will market joint-branded snacks and beverages, bearing both Expo 2020 Dubai logos and PepsiCo’s product logos, in key markets both internationally and locally. The firm’s Middle East & North Africa (Mena) president, Omar Farid, added that new products would be developed specifically for the Expo. Neither Expo 2020 Dubai nor PepsiCo would reveal the value of the deal, with PepsiCo global chair Indra Nooyi light-heartedly responding, “That’s for us to know and you to guess,” in response to a Gulf News question at a press conference following the signing ceremony. Instead, both parties preferred to talk of an alignment of purpose between Expo and PepsiCo, with Reem Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, praising PepsiCo’s ‘Performance With Purpose’ programme as a model that matched the Expo’s vision and themes of sustainability, mobility and innovation.
“With PepsiCo and Expo 2020, we’re aligned across the board,” Al Hashemi said. “It is not so casual to find corporates that also have such a strong commitment with aligning themselves to making this planet a better place, and so we’ve searched diligently to find that type of alignment so that when we do have a partnership deal, the issue isn’t so much the dollar figure, it’s the kind of impact you can create.” Nooyi highlighted PepsiCo’s efforts in water conservation, for which it won the Stockholm Industry Water Award in 2012; the use of electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce carbon footprint; and its efforts to reduce the use of plastics in its packaging and to increase re-use and recycling. She said PepsiCo would be showcasing its reusable Drinkfinity bottle at Expo 2020. “We’re in advanced testing in Brazil and the United States — it’s actually launched in Brazil. Interestingly, it’s got great trial — the big issue is people don’t want to wash the bottle. We have to stay with it so that people actually get into the habit of washing the bottle and create a culture of reusing the bottle.”
She noted such efforts to change consumer behaviour often foundered, but added, “You have to stick with it. That’s the key thing. Very often we try to do something and then, in two or three quarters, we tend to give up because it’s just hard to do it — it costs money, it takes time. But with Drinkfinity now we’ve stuck with it for at least two years and we are determined. We think it’s a good idea. We want to make sure that we take the time and the energy the effort and investment to actually change consumer perceptions.” Nooyi said PepsiCo would also be using its Expo involvement to find new ideas for sustainable growth. “The great thing about Expo of the kind that’s being planned in Dubai is that we’re going to see so many ideas coming not just from the Dubai pavilions but from the other countries. I think we’re going to be a student of what’s being suggested in the pavilions of other countries.” Picked : http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/expo-2020-dubai-unveils-pepsico-as-premier-partner-1.2206551

Trump defends ‘mission accomplished’ tweets


Trump defends ‘mission accomplished’ tweets 

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he correctly used the term “mission accomplished” to describe Friday night’s missile strike in Syria. In an earlier statement, Trump also defended the combined US, French and British strikes on three targets in Syria, saying that they were in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in a Damascus suburb. “The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term ‘Mission Accomplished’,” he tweeted on Sunday. “I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!”
On Saturday, Trump said that the strikes were “perfectly executed”. “Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished,” he tweeted. The term “mission accomplished” because controversial in America after former Republican President George W. Bush used it to declare victory in Iraq, although the war dragged on for years several years after that declaration. Trump said on Friday that the US was “prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents”. On Capitol Hill, Democrats blasted President Trump for circumventing Congress, calling the strikes “unconstitutional” while most Republicans applauded the move. “Today, it’s a strike on Syria — what’s going to stop him from bombing Iran or North Korea next?” asked Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Dem¬o¬crat., said Trump must present a more comprehensive strategy on Syria to Congress and seek lawmakers’ approval. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Trump “administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria.”
But House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, praised the action. “The United States has taken a decisive action in coordination with our allies … Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons cannot go unanswered,” he said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also a Repub¬lican, said he supports “both the action and the objective.” “I applaud the president for taking military action against the Assad regime for its latest use of chemical weapons, and for signaling his resolve to do so again if these heinous attacks continue,” said Senator John McCain, another Republican who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Picked : https://www.dawn.com/news/1401885/trump-defends-mission-accomplished-tweets

Sunday, April 15, 2018


US adds India to currency watch list 

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury added India to its watch list of countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies, joining China and four others, according to a report issued on Friday. Treasury said the “monitoring list” includes those “major trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices.” In addition to India, the semi-annual report to Congress names five countries that continue on the list from October: China, Germany, Japan, Korea and Switzerland. Countries remain on the list for two report cycles “to help ensure that any improvement in performance versus the criteria is durable and is not due to temporary factors.”
While no major trading partner was found to be manipulating its currency, five of those on the list meet two of the three criteria, while China is included because “it constitutes a disproportionate share of the overall US trade deficit.” The US has a deficit of $337 billion with China of a total global trade deficit of $566bn, according to government data. “We will continue to monitor and combat unfair currency practices, while encouraging policies and reforms to address large trade imbalances,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. The Treasury report is required by Congress to identify countries that are trying to artificially manage the value of their currency to gain a trade advantage, for example by keeping the exchange rate low to promote cheaper exports. The report said India, which has a $23bn trade surplus with the US, “increased its purchases of foreign exchange over the first three quarters of 2017,” although the rupee still rose in value.
And while China — which is at the center of a brewing trade dispute with Washington — remained on the watch list, Treasury said “the Chinese currency generally moved against the dollar in a direction that should” help reduce China’s trade surplus with the United States. Germany also remained on the watch list, even though it is part of the European currency union, which means it cannot independently control the exchange rate for the euro.

Picked : https://www.dawn.com/news/1401753

Friday, April 13, 2018

New regulation announced by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) in 2016 - Earn while you learn


New regulation announced by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) in 2016 - Earn while you learn

Few takers for part-time jobs, say Dubai universities Heads of universities highlight challenges in hiring students as part-time workers in freezones Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Students seek information about courses at the University of Wollongong in Dubai. Dubai: More than 18 months after a new law allowed university students to take up part-time jobs in nine free-zone clusters, the scheme has found few takers mainly due to lack of awareness among employers, universities said on Thursday. In interviews on the sidelines of the 30th Gulf Education and Training Exhibition (Getex) at Dubai World Trade Centre, they said there was confusion among employers about being able to legally hire students in part-time jobs and they were also unclear about benefits of hiring them.
Dr Vajahat Hussain, chief executive officer Amity University Dubai said while they have introduced a 20-hour programme “Work as you Learn” and some students have been hired by retail and IT companies, he believes there should have been more progress. “The challenge is more of the awareness on the part of the companies because we as a university are aware and the students are too, but more companies need to know they can hire students as part time employees legally,” he said. He said companies also lack patience in taking students without experience or skills and prefer to outsource jobs. “However, we believe in the next couple of years, it will pick up and companies will see the benefits of getting students on part-time jobs.” According to him, the part-time job rule has worked mainly as a magnet in attracting international students to the country. ‘Confusion’ Employers are not clear about the exact arrangements with regard to part time jobs, according to Niranjan Jayakumar, vice-president and business head, Manipal University. “We have been sending students who are interested in taking up part-time jobs, but what we have seen is that there is some confusion that students cannot be employed when on student visa and employers then ask us for NOC for employment which we cannot give. Those kind of policy-related questions are there and since the guidelines are new, more visibility need to be brought in the guidelines and rules,” he explained. Also, work-study balance on the part of students is another challenge that could be putting off employers. Students pursuing full-time courses have classes during day and a few jobs are available in the evening.
“Because of the options on part-time jobs we have seen a growth of 50 per cent in international students coming to study with us and the interest to earn while they learn comes from them. For some students it’s the question of balancing academic knowledge, while employers expect students to be doing the activity full-time,” said Jayakumar. Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Director at Middlesex University, said while the rule is good to have, one of the reasons it has not picked up is because the type of part-time jobs students seek are not really available at companies. “It’s still in its early days, I think. Undergraduate students at our university have not been interested because of time constraints, but the issue is not always with the students but more with employers because they are not sure if the students are available as they want them to be available whenever they want,” he said. Profeffor Ammar Kaka Vice Principal, Heriot Watt University said the university has attracted 100 Chinese students since the rule was announced. Heriot Watt University (right) stands at the Gulf Education and Training Exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre. “We have students going for part-time jobs since the rule was announced, but I see the challenge in terms of restricting the opportunities for students to work only in freezones. There are companies interested in being part of the education system of the new generation, but it’s not happening to a big extent,” he said. Getex kicks off Getex was officially opened on Thursday at the Shaikh Saeed Halls at Dubai International Convention Centre. This year’s show will feature more than 250 leading universities and training institutes from across the world who will present their undergraduate and postgraduate academic and occupational courses to over 35,000 students in exploring potential learning opportunities.
The exhibition ends Saturday. New regulation announced by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) in 2016 Earn while you learn New regulation announced by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) in 2016 grants part-time work permits to around 25,000 students mostly enrolled at around two dozen academic institutions licensed by DCCA, primarily located in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and Dubai Knowledge Park. This is in addition to government universities. The new regulation is being implemented with the support of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). It enables 4,500 businesses in the emirate’s nine creative clusters. Students must be in good academic standing and, generally, in their second year of university. A central clearing system, like an online marketplace, will connect employers with student workers, after checks on eligibility. Students right to pay will be guaranteed. Work hours will be limited to prevent impact on studies.
Picked : http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/society/few-takers-for-part-time-jobs-say-dubai-universities-1.2204555

Saturday, April 7, 2018

State Bank warns against trade in virtual currencies


State Bank warns against trade in virtual currencies 

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday warned the general public as well as banks against trade in virtual currencies, informing them that no legal protection was available against risks involved in the unlicensed business. Virtual currencies, coins and tokens (such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond etc) are neither recognised as a legal tender nor the SBP has authorised or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such virtual currencies, coins and tokens in Pakistan, according to the SBP. While the SBP spokesperson said no data was available about prevalence of virtual currencies in Pakistan, President of the Forex Association of Pakistan Malik Bostan told Dawn that four websites operating from Pakistan were reportedly trading in virtual currencies. He said the exact volume of trade in virtual currency in the country was not known, but many people believed it could be around tens of billions of rupees. Virtual currency, also known as virtual money, is a type of unregulated digital or electronic money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community. The SBP said virtual currencies such as coins and tokens provided high degree of anonymity and could be potentially used for facilitating illegal activities. It advised banks, development finance institutions, microfinance banks and payment system operators and payment service providers not to facilitate transactions of their customers and account holders in virtual currencies or Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and tokens. Due to the ambiguous nature of virtual currencies, no legal protection or recourse was available to anyone in the event of a loss incurred due to any or all of the risks like high price volatility as investments tied to virtual currencies are highly unstable and are primarily based on speculations, said the SBP. No legal protection was available against the risk regarding failure or closure of virtual currency exchanges or businesses due to any reason, including action by law enforcement agencies, hacking or security compromises of crypto currency exchanges and wallet businesses, as a number of instances had been recorded across the world where a huge amount of money had been lost due to the exchange or wallet operations being hacked and compromised, the SBP explained. In Pakistan, fraudsters are also offering pyramid-style investment schemes and coins and promising high returns (similar to Ponzi schemes) to the people, the SBP said, warning that this could cause a significant loss to the general public. The State Bank advised people that domestic and international payment and money transfer services in Pakistan were regulated by the SBP under the applicable laws. In this regard, no entity was currently licensed or authorised by SBP to offer money remittance services and products in Pakistan using virtual currencies, coins, or tokens. Persons using virtual currencies, coins or tokens for the purpose of transferring value outside the country were subject to prosecution as per the applicable laws. “The general public in their own interest is advised to be cautious of and refrain from indulging in activities relating to mining, trading, exchanging, transferring value, promoting and investing of virtual currencies to avoid any potential financial loss and legal implications,” said the SBP. Action sought against illegal business Finance experts welcomed the SBP move that they said would help in spreading awareness among the masses but they questioned the actions taken by the banking and money market regulator to practically stop this activity. “It’s a good thing, I would say,” said a capital and money market expert Mohammed Sohail. “If there is a statement or a warning for people then there must be some information about such activities [prevailing in the country]. But, you see, the State Bank needs to do more than warning the general public. Unfortunately, we have not seen any action on the part of the regulator when it comes to illegal forex or illegal brokerage houses. These illegal businesses actually facilitate and work as channel between the people and virtual currencies market.” As the first step towards discouraging such activities, he said, the State Bank should move against the illegal businesses in capital and money market that could largely help discouraging people from looking towards virtual currencies as an open option for transaction or investment. PICKED : https://www.dawn.com/news/1400103/

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Facebook needs ‘a few years’ to fix problems: Zuckerberg


Facebook needs ‘a few years’ to fix problems: Zuckerberg WASHINGTON: Facebook will likely need “a few years” to fix the problems uncovered by the revelations on the hijacking of private user data, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview released on Monday. Speaking to the news site Vox, Zuckerberg defended the company’s business model and shot back at criticism of the social networking giant from Apple CEO Tim Cook last week. Zuckerberg maintained that one of Facebook’s problems was that it was “idealistic,” focusing on the positive aspects of connecting people and that “we didn’t spend enough time investing in, or thinking through, some of the downside uses of the tools.” “I think now people are appropriately focused on some of the risks and downsides as well,” he said. “I think we will dig through this hole, but it will take a few years. I wish I could solve all these issues in three months or six months, but I just think the reality is that solving some of these questions is just going to take a longer period of time.”

PICKED : https://www.dawn.com/news/1399238/facebook-needs-a-few-years-to-fix-problems-zuckerberg

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

No minimum wage policy in UAE'


'No minimum wage policy in UAE' 


UAE’s wage policies enable a flexible labour market that creates thousands of new jobs annually: ministry Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation today (Tuesday) said the government has no plans to implement a minimum wage policy. The ministry said in a statement, received by Gulf News, that wages – including for domestic workers – will continue to be fixed through negotiation between employer and employee. “The UAE’s wage policies enable a flexible labour market that creates thousands of new jobs annually,” the ministry said. “The government remains of the view that a free labour market, based on supply and demand, creates optimal conditions under which we are able to continue to welcome thousands of guest workers to the UAE every year, while simultaneously fostering sustainable economic growth.” The ministry has nothing to do with any statements released on fixing minimum wages for domestic workers. Recently, some embassies in the UAE had announced measures being put in place about fixing a minimum wage for domestic workers hired from their countries. The UAE has taken steps to increase protection for domestic workers. On September 26 last year, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued Federal Law No. 10 of 2017. The law regulates the contractual relationship between employers and domestic workers and provides legal protections to safeguard the rights of all parties involved. Picked : http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/government/no-minimum-wage-policy-in-uae-1.2199200

Monday, April 2, 2018

China slaps retaliatory tariffs on 128 US products


China slaps retaliatory tariffs on 128 US products BEIJING: China on Monday imposed tariffs on 128 US imports worth $3 billion, including fruit and pork, retaliating for US duties on steel and aluminium that Beijing said “seriously infringed” Chinese interests. The move, which was decided by the customs tariff commission of the State Council, followed weeks of rhetoric that has raised fears of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. The Trump administration had said its duties were aimed at steel and aluminium imports that it deemed a threat to US national security, but China’s Commerce Ministry on Monday called that reasoning an “abuse” of World Trade Organization (WTO) guidelines. The US measures “are directed only at a few countries, seriously violating the principle of non-discrimination as a cornerstone of the multilateral trading system, which seriously infringed the interests of the Chinese side,” said a statement on the Commerce Ministry website. President Donald Trump has repeatedly railed against China’s massive trade surplus with the United States and promised during the election campaign to take steps to slash the US deficit. Beijing had warned last month that it was considering the tariffs of 15 percent and 25 percent on a range of products that also include wine, nuts and aluminium scrap. They came into force on Monday, Xinhua said, citing a government statement. The levies are in response to tariffs of 10 percent on aluminium and 25 percent on steel that have also angered US allies. “We hope that the United States can withdraw measures that violate WTO rules as soon as possible to put trade in the relevant products between China and the US back on a normal track,” the Commerce Ministry statement said. “Cooperation between China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies, is the only correct choice.” Trump has temporarily suspended the tariffs for the European Union as well as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. But the White House has unveiled plans to impose new tariffs on some $60 billion of Chinese imports over the “theft” of intellectual property. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic official, told US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a phone call last month that the IP investigation violated international trade rules and Beijing was “ready to defend its naitonal interests”. ‘Heavy blow’ But Beijing has so far held fire against major US imports such as soybeans or Boeing aircraft — items that state-run daily the Global Times suggested should be targeted. The nationalistic newspaper said in an editorial last week that China has “nearly completed its list of retaliatory tariffs on US products and will release it soon.” “The list will involve major Chinese imports from the US,” the newspaper wrote, without saying which items were included. “This will deal a heavy blow to Washington that aggressively wields the stick of trade war and will make the US pay a price for its radical trade policy toward China,” the Global Times wrote. Despite the rhetoric, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday suggested the new measures on intellectual property were a “prelude to a set of negotiations”. The United States ran a $375.2 billion deficit with China last year. US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, held meetings with Chinese officials on Friday and Saturday, including Vice Premier Liu. “With Vice Premier Liu He, I had an extensive discussion about how China’s trade-distorting measures end up hurting American workers,” Warren wrote on Twitter. “I’ve long been skeptical of trade policy -– both at home and abroad -– that caters to big corporations instead of working families,” she said. PICKED : https://arynews.tv/en/china-slaps-tariffs-us-products/

U.S. government seeks end to Supreme Court privacy fight with Microsoft


U.S. government seeks end to Supreme Court privacy fight with Microsoft
President Donald Trump on March 22 signed a provision into law making it clear that U.S. judges can issue warrants for such data, while giving companies an avenue to object if the request conflicts with foreign law. The U.S. government's Supreme Courtbattle with Microsoft over whether technology companies can be forced to hand over data stored overseas could be nearing its end, after federal prosecutors asked that the case be dismissed. President Donald Trump on March 22 signed a provision into law making it clear that U.S. judges can issue warrants for such data, while giving companies an avenue to object if the request conflicts with foreign law.
"This case is now moot," the U.S. Department of Justice said, citing the newly passed legislation, in a 16-page court filing on Friday that requested the dismissal. The Supreme Court on Feb. 27 heard arguments in the case, which had been one of the most closely watched of the high court's current term. Some justices urged Congress to pass a law to resolve the matter. Microsoft and the Justice Department had been locked in a dispute over how U.S. prosecutors seek access to data held on overseas computer servers owned by American companies. The case involved Microsoft's challenge to a domestic warrant issued by a U.S. judge for emails stored on a Microsoft server in Dublin relating to a drug-trafficking investigation. The bipartisan new law, known as the Cloud Act, was supported by Microsoft, other major technology companies, and the Trump administration. But civil liberties groups opposed it, saying it lacked sufficient privacy protections.
Microsoft, which has 100 data centers in 40 countries, was the first American company to challenge a domestic search warrant seeking data held outside the United States. The Microsoft customer whose emails were sought told the company he was based in Ireland when he signed up for his account. A representative for Microsoft did not immediately return requests for comment on the Justice Department's filing.
Picked : https://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/government-policy/u-s-government-seeks-end-to-supreme-court-privacy-fight-with-microsoft/63579994

Sunday, April 1, 2018

UAE postpones good conduct certificate requirement for job visas


UAE postpones good conduct certificate requirement for job visas 

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announces postponement of new requirement
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News archives Dubai: The UAE has postponed the mandatory requirement for a good conduct certificate for employment visas from April 1, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The ministry, in a response to a Twitter user's inquiry, said that the requirement is postponed "until further notice".
The UAE had made the good conduct certificate mandatory for employment visas starting on February 4. Sources told Gulf News that authorities have started processing visa applications from certain nationalities without the good conduct certificate from last week. However, the ministry had not officially confirmed this. Until Thursday, the last working day in March, the ministry replied to Twitter users that there was no update when they enquired about the status of the requirement of good conduct certificate. “If there is any update, [it] will be shared on the official channels,” it had added.
On Sunday morning, the ministry updated the latest decision to all those who had made the enquiry through Twitter. However, no media statement has been issued as of press time on Sunday. The rule making it mandatory to obtain a certificate of good conduct for expatriates to get a work permit in the UAE had come into effect after the UAE Coordination Committee in January approved a Cabinet Resolution issued in 2017 stipulating that expatriates who apply for work visa in the UAE must first obtain a certificate of good conduct — issued either by their home country or the country where they lived for the last five years.
Sourced : http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/government/uae-postpones-good-conduct-certificate-requirement-for-job-visas-1.2197723